The RCMP have a simple message for the public:
If somebody phones your home offering to fix your computer, and you haven’t noticed any problems with your computer, hang up on the caller.
The local detachment has been inundated with calls over the past few weeks after the latest scam making the rounds.
“Somebody phones saying ‘We’re with Apple and we’ve been noticing you’re having computer problems and viruses, and I can show you how to fix it,’” said Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk. “It usually ends up costing a lot of money, they ask for your credit card number and on they go.”
The RCMP nationwide and their partners at the Canadian Anti Fraud Center (CAFC) are warning that if someone calls you claiming to be able to protect your computer from viruses, your best bet is to just hang up the phone.
Don’t give the caller your computer access codes and don’t provide your credit card information.
The virus scam has grown to epidemic proportions in Canada, now accounting for between 70 and 80 per cent of frauds reported daily to the CAFC.
Police warn if a scammer is able to log on to your computer, then he has access to all the personal information you have stored there, including your banking information.
“If it’s an unsolicited call, you should have that sixth sense about you,” said Molendyk.
“If you didn’t notice any computer problems and you receive an unsolicited call about it, nine times out of 10 those unsolicited calls will take you down the road.”